- You get about 300 readings on one 9V battery (included); alternatively, it plugs into a dashboard power socket with an included DC adapter.
- Remember: Never drink and drive.
Wednesday, December 20, 2006
No, not that kind.
I just go insane at Christmas time. More than any other time, Christmas is when I feel my OCD tendencies come out. I find myself baking at 2am, returning to stores for tiny, insignificant items that suddenly feel indispensable, frantically scribbling Christmas cards. I feel like Liv Tyler in Empire Records, when she has made cupcakes in addition to being a crazy pre-Harvard student and she tells Renee Zellweger (not skinny yet) "Daddy says there are 24 usable hours in every day." Then you find out she is a speed freak. The truth is that ANYONE who is that manic about getting things done and doing them perfectly right acts like a speed freak without the drugs. I hardly even drink caffeine anymore (despite being oh so exhausted) and last night, after going to work at 8:15, eating lunch at my desk, leaving at 6, driving straight to the mall, then to Whole Foods, then to Target, then home at 10pm, the latter entirely without sustenance despite the allure of Panda Express in the food court, I was acting like a total spaz. I chatted nonstop to (at) my roommates for half an hour and then when it occurred to me that I should eat something, I started hacking at my half-stale loaf of sourdough with a pathetically ineffective Ikea knife that was never intended for bread, much less the crusty kind. Kelly was looking at me like she thought I was going to whack her with the knife.
I don't really know when this happened, but I can remember distinctly the first year I went crazy for Christmas shopping - either my freshman or sophomore year of college. I remember coming home for the break and going to the mall and being overwhelmed by the wealth of things I wanted to buy for people and share with people. I spent far too much money. I can't remember anything I bought.
But it's only getting progressively worse. Last year, I baked cookies and mailed them off to deserving families. This year, I baked them for my boss and coworker and the lady who is coming to catsit. And oh yes, the gift I got for the catsitter is out of control. It started as cookies and some other snackables and has turned into a full on gift food basket. Once you start, you cannot stop.
I'd like to share other stories of this insanity but it's still before Christmas so I can't divulge the details. Let it just be said that I have mailed off more than thirty Christmas cards. I have received two thrilled responses from friends who were happy with the card and with me getting in touch. I made pumpkin bread last week, which was mostly consumed by Kelly and Ravi, but I gave half a loaf to the single man who lives down the hall, and he responded by leaving us a card with warm wishes. THAT is why I go insane this time of year - it's like I am in an abusive relationship with Christmas. I do so much for it and it gives me moments of cheer. At least until the shopping mania is over, and then I can just relax and enjoy.
Friday, December 15, 2006
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
45 Year Old College Student with Two Kids
The 45 Year Old College Student with Two Kids is one of the more interesting personas found in the college classroom. This subject has returned to school in an attempt to better her life, which is a great endeavor. However, there are a few things about this person that will make you want to punch her in the face by the end of the semester. The 45-year-old college student with two kids must write down every word the professor says. This will cause the class to be peppered with calls of "can you repeat that" approximately every 0.23 seconds. Second, she must ask the most obvious questions, preferably ones the professor has already answered. Here’s an example:
If you are lucky enough to be in a small class where participation is required, you’ll be treated to such delights as "Well I have two kids and I think that [insert obvious statement here]" or "Ever since I’ve had my two kids, [insert fragmented sentence here]." As an added bonus, you’ll get to hear about all of her life experiences as a parole officer and about her last 5 marriages that ended in divorce.
Professor: So, in 1776 the Declaration of Independence was written.
Old student: Okay, let me make sure I’m writing this down correctly. The Declaration of Independence was written in 1776, right?
Professor: 30 seconds of blank stare followed by: Yes.
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
Got out of the car. Walked in, thinking "Maybe I should get tea."
Decided buying tea at Starbucks was stupid since I have tea at home.
Walked up to the counter.
Thought, "Maybe chai tea. That would be unusual and different."
Realized I have mix for chai tea at home, and milk, and could easily make that for myself.
Guy at the counter asked what I wanted.
Realized I didn't want anything since everything I kind of wanted was stuff I could make at home.
Hesitated. Considered leaving. Couldn't quite face the weirdness of ditching the guy at the counter.
Ordered a peppermint mocha, nonfat, with no whip and just one pump of peppermint syrup.
Mocked myself silently.
Got peppermint mocha, sipped it, enjoyyyyyyed it.
Starbucks wins in the end.
1. Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Egg nog, 1/4 of a cup, once a year. Really. Just had it yesterday.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just set them under the tree? Santa does all of it, obvi. His elves also make all the toys.
3. Colored lights on tree/house or white? Colored. White are lame and annoying.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? I bought it a couple times a few years in a row in middle school, I don't really know why.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Now, I don't. But usually it's after I harass my parents to do it.
6. What is your favorite holiday dish? Molasses cookies!
7. Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Waking up really early and opening my stocking before everyone else got up. Then waiting for everyone else to join. Also, memory of Tippie playing with wrapping paper. And the way the sun shone in my eyes when I sat on the chair facing the tree.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Well, I kinda knew, but it was really a tipoff when I was in the backseat of the car and Mom and Caryl started talking about what to get for stocking stuffers.
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? Yes, with extended family. Christmas Day is usually just the four of us.
10. How do you decorate your Christmas Tree? Mom and I did it last year. It kind of depends... but we have a lot of favorites. No garlands. No icicles really anymore either.
11. Snow! Love it or Dread it? Love it, mostly. Don't get it.
12. Can you ice skate? A little.
13. Do you remember your favorite gift? Not a favorite, but I remember when Lucie gave me my first Calvin and Hobbes book - The Authoritative.
14. What’s the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Food? Holiday weather?
15. What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Molasses cookies (haha).
16. What is your favorite holiday tradition? Watching Life of Brian on Christmas Eve.
17. What tops your tree? An angel, somewhat odd given our family beliefs.
18. Which do you prefer: giving or receiving? Giving, if I can find a good one.
19. What is your favorite Christmas Song? Hmm... really no idea. I used to like the Little Drummer Boy. Also have a strange affinity for O Holy Night. But really it's the one that the March family sings in the opening scene of the Winona Ryder version of Little Women. Whatever that is.
20. Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? LOVE. Especially King Leo. Or Trader Joe's "Joe Joes" with mint. (They are oreos with candy cane bits on them.)
(via Pages Turned)
Monday, December 11, 2006
Finally, I managed to download the OC for viewing. Also fortunately, I happen to have two accessible computers – my work computer and my regular one, so I used one to liveblog and it was a real viewing experience on the TV and everything. I am nothing if not classy.
Alright, so, we get straight to the good stuff: Ryan’s fantasies of Taylor sexy-dancing in some Grecian costume to hard rock. No idea what this scene was inspired by, but it’s truly awesome. I feel kind of the way I felt reading Harry Potter 5 – is this really the way men think? (Yeah, oddly enough I thought of that reading Harry Potter. The fifth book was weird.)
Following that brilliant introduction we have the first of many amazing lines in this episode. Sandy holds a bagel in front of Ryan’s face in a fishbowl, saying “I schmeared it for you.” Zoomy faces. Taylor has that affect on you.
Seth enters and informs everyone that he is hopping on a plane to fly to Providence to visit Summer. Guess it’s fine if you tell your parents who are still supporting you that you are flying to the other side of the country with a ticket you just purchased. God, I hate it when money and plane prices are not a factor.
Cut to Summer, who is getting suspended until next fall because she stole a rabbit. Stanford didn’t even kick out the band for vandalizing their Shak, so either Brown is more efficient in punishing student delinquents or this is a fictional show. Who knows at this point.
Despite Paul Rudd being a huge douchebag, Summer sucks it up and takes her punishment. Meekly, she takes down the posters from her wall. This is highly reminiscent of any Felicity episode, pretty much ever. (Wait until moment she finds list of former room residents written in chalk inside the closet. I really miss that show.) Asshole Paul Rudd comes in with his ugly vest and hat and personality. He insists that we have to devour the weaker gazelle for the good of the movement! No remorse. Hate.
I love the Ryan/Taylor thing. I really, really do. By this point, Taylor is soaping up Ryan’s window wearing a wet white dress. Fabulous (except for the line “Are you dirty, Ryan?” which really kind of could have gone unsaid).
Kirsten interrupts Ryan’s reverie wearing a tunic with a huge thick black belt. Ever so up with the modern couture. She wants to be “the new Seth” and let Ryan confide in her. How can she be like Seth? By talking about herself and letting Ryan solve the problem on his own (oh snap). She states the obvious, which is that she knows a lot more about women than Seth will ever know, and then she pulls a Cohen (son, not mother) by making a reference to the vault. So first season. Seriously, did Josh Schwartz hire back old writers or something? This show is really good again!
Kirsten then points out that Ryan should be open to the possibility of something good happening given how he has been shit on in the past. And you know Taylor is way sexier and more interesting than Marissa. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.
Hottie tennis instructor shows up at “Casa de Cooper” with some snazzy new racket (I don’t speak tennis) for Kaitlin. She attempts to seduce him briefly, making a comment about him helping her with “her stroke.” He tells her to go to high school and date the guys there, to which she responds “you mean boys?” This is a Cher Horowitz disciple if I ever saw one. The whole hottie tennis instructor plot is clearly a bust for Kaitlin.
Taylor shows up at the mall and Ryan, seeing her, runs away. Perhaps it’s the pigtails, Taylor. Might want to rethink that look (perhaps she’s in costume for her job filling in for Seth at the comic shop). She confesses that usually when she kisses a guy he runs away, because she is a bit of a biter. I would expect nothing less. In this torrent of awkwardness, Taylor almost misses Ryan asking her out. She says that her plans for the evening are to update her blog (knew there was a reason I liked her): “Felicity by way of Anais Nin. Erotic memoirs of a soulful college girl.” She also refers to her emotions as an emoticon in real life. Really my kind of girl.
This brings us to maybe the second scene ever featuring Kaitlin interacting with people at high school, which from the looks of it she never really goes to. True to the Newport spirit, they are at a waterpolo match and she is blocking the view of a couple vapid Newport girls. “Do you bitches have a problem?” she says. Kaitlin is also awesome.
“Do you guys think anyone would notice if I sparked a J by the bleachers?” she asks the vapid ones, who point out that it’s illegal (like Kaitin cares). At this point Fake Kaitlin shows up, who has less cool clothes than real Kaitlin but just as much attitude. This is like that brief moment when we had the Taylor v. Marissa competition. The cool outcast girl versus the cool popular crazy girl. Fake Kaitlin is hosting a Super Sweet Sixteen party which everyone wants to be invited to. Life imitates MTV. Or rather, OC imitates MTV, which also imitated the OC. Media is so crazy like that.
Bullet: “Women are well-preserved in this town.” Couldn’t have said it better. He says Kirsten “don’t look much like an eater.” She is a drinker, though. (Formerly, before she became a black hole of interestingness.) He is trying to ingratiate himself to Julie, which is pretty much not happening as she is in possession of a TASER!
Ryan and Taylor are watching some weird Japanese movie when Taylor says, “Did you ever think that decapitation could be so beautiful?” Oh yes, Taylor, you truly are psychotic. “It helps relax me,” she says. Few cute moments of classic high school hitting-on scene with hands in popcorn and Ryan sneaking his arm around Taylor. Who knew he had such issues putting the moves on women? He says he “can’t do this” because “it’s too weird,” which freaks Taylor out because she thinks he means she’s weird (which, um, I have no comment on).
Crossing paths, Summer has arrived in Seth’s room while meanwhile Seth has gone to Brown and is standing in her empty one. She packs fast, apparently. She is now forced to admit that she got kicked out for stealing rabbits. Seth says about Paul Rudd/Che/Benedict Arnold what I’ve been trying to say this entire time: “I knew anyone that sincere is not to be trusted.” He is now on a mission to “avenge her honor” and go “so Ryan Atwood on his ass.” Yes! Do it.
Now, Sandy throws his hat in the ring to be substitute Seth. Somewhere in the lack of helpfulness (so what else is new?), Ryan realizes that maybe the problem is him. I would like to suggest that maybe the problem is Marissa, but I have no voice in this matter. Sandy departs with a crack about reading comics and listening to indie rock. So true.
Seth kicks in Che’s door and says the place “reeks of incense and righteousness.” More slut jokes about Summer’s roommates. Seth discovers disk in Che’s room addressed to him, a video that says “news of Seth’s vendetta has reached his ears.” He has gone underground (I wish he was six feet underground). Summer suggests via phone that he must be with Osama. It is at this point I realize Summer is lying outside in a sleeping bag, communing with nature. She’s changed! Julie Cooper discovers her out there and tries to do her best mom thing. Brief, pointless scene.
Fake Kaitlin distributes her party invitations in public just like all the Sweet 16 bitches, while Kaitlin is smoking (or should I say toking) up a storm behind the wall of the bleachers. So hardcore. Hearing Fake Kaitlin refuse to invite the very girls who had helped her seal the invitations (exactly like all the MTV girls), real Kaitlin offers up another party at her house (with wayyy better drugs, you just know it). Ah yes, I am right, she say she has “5 kegs, a quarter ounce, and absolutely no lame parents.” God knows why she’s doing this, except to make a point?
Hottie Tennis Instructor a.k.a. Bullet’s son shows up at the dating service with like 10 other young studs, who are offering to be the fresh manmeat for the dating service. Julie tries to avoid repaying the Bullet for his favor and only gets herself deeper into trouble by saying she has to go to Sandy and Kirsten’s recommitment ceremony. This is officially the only time the woman has ever avoided dating a man with money.
Ryan finds Taylor at the mall with one of the comic store goons. She appears to be trying to make Ryan feel guilty (or is she serious?) by cozying up with another man. She says “Sounds terrif” – gotta love the abbreviated words. Ryan, you have let another one slip through your fingers by moping. Straighten up and fly right.
Che shows up on Summer’s doorstep to atone for his sins. Again, hate. What is it with these people flying around the country all the time!
WHAT is Kaitlin wearing? A terrible jersey-ish dress thing and leggings, and I think Converse. Annoying. When she makes a comment about a threesome, Julie says “Just how old are you?” which really reminds me that four years ago Kaitlin was obsessed with her pony. I don’t know if the writers ever figured out that timeline.
Che wants to have a “truth circle” on the lawn and when Summer does not respond, he handcuffs her so they can work through their issues.
Taylor walks into her/Summer’s room to find Summer handcuffed to Che. Taylor is way pleased about the handcuffing, proving that she really is as kinky as Ryan would like to think: “Summer Roberts, you learned a few things from that college roommate of yours.”
Summer and Taylor attempt to stop Kaitlin from throwing the party, but of course she doesn’t care because she is, as Sean would say, hardc0r3. She doesn’t care for authority, that one. Che tries to help out with the party spirit by offering to play “festive tribal music” on the didg. Taylor’s comic goon Roger helps out with the kegs, which pisses off Taylor.
Seth returns from the east coast and walks in on Ryan imagining Taylor in rollerskates on his TV. He confesses that he keeps imagining her with a “big bucket of soapy water” which is his way of reminding us that he is an ass man. Another great line. So good, this episode.
Now we know who always threw those drugged-out Newport parties - Kaitlin! Although, since they only seem to have kegs and pot, this is not quite on par with the early parties of season 1 with the cocaine, fresh margs, and copious amounts of hard liquor.
Summer tries to break up a make-out fiesta by saying “Cut it out, I tan on this chair!” Che, good for him, hands out condoms. Wise man, but I still want him dead, or at least gone the way of every Gilmore Girls guest star – gone gone gone.
Kaitlin is officially playing seven minutes in heaven, which I really didn’t know anyone did and which I thought was way too lame for her. She apparently really wants to get laid, because she is trying really hard to make out with this high school kid. Quickly realizes that kid is not so much into women, and her way of telling him is “Sweetheart, you’re so gay.”
Sandy and Kirsten give up on helping Julie and bail on the double date.
Why is it that they always have colored clear plastic cups at these parties instead of the usual red cups?
Ryan, searching for Taylor, discovers Roger in bed with the gay athlete kid. WTF!? Awesome. Turns out Taylor really was trying to make Ryan feel guilty and wasn’t into Roger at all. Ryan’s reaction: “She paid you to pretend to like her? …Sounds like Taylor.” So true. He leaves, saying “Carry on.” My roommate at this point says “I love this show,” which is pretty much the gist of my feelings at this moment.
Seth, not realizing that Summer and Che are chained, pushes Che into the pool. Clever.
Kaitlin discovers Fake Kaitlin at her party (and therefore not at her own): “So you dressed like a ho for no reason.” Fake Kaitlin: “I changed before I came here.” Looks like Kaitlin was just trying to make a point about being nice to your friends, which is interesting because she doesn’t have any and isn’t nice to anyone. But she sure knows how to play the ethical line.
Kaitlin calls the police to report her own party because her work is done. She’s like the guardian angel of Newport, or the guardian devil or something.
Summer and Che hug it out, by which I mean Summer says she accepts his apology and Che cries like a baby. Turns out Che is a spoiled brat. He has a driver, and Che is short for Winchester. He totally would have lived in a coop at Stanford and been one of those rich hippies. Hate even more.
Ryan confronts Taylor about the Roger thing, and she says “What if I did rent a homosexual for the evening?” Excellent. Ryan tells her he isn’t ready for a relationship and Taylor responds “Just because I want to use your body as a jungle gym doesn’t mean I want to get married.” Ah, Taylor. Ryan is so cute when he’s flattered by someone who knows how to express her feelings (however weird they may be). They are going to have their seven minutes in heaven. Yes, awesome, except I think that means we don’t get to watch. Damn.
I’m pretty sure the exact same character of the Bullet exists on Ugly Betty except he managed to hook up with Vanessa Williams after a few tequila shots. He was slightly less annoying on that show. And a little more subtle, although Bullet has a good line when he talks to Julie about breakfast: “So, should I call you or nudge you?”
Bullet attempts to make up for his bad behavior by having a justice of the peace show up at the Cohens’ to renew their vows. Ok, this plot is kind of lame, moving on.
Strange Garden state moment with Kaitlin in the middle of the room watching things get cleaned up around her house and watching the cops kick everyone out (she doesn’t appear to be getting in trouble for this whole party thing – guess she hid all the pot). She cleans up Luke’s brother’s face, which had been written on. She has a heart!
Turns out Julie is a pimp! She has apparently set up a network of young men to prostitute themselves out to older “well preserved” Newpsies. You knew she’d find her way back into illegal business somehow.
Seth proposes putting off RISD for yet another semester, which officially puts the entire OC crew in Newport for the rest of the 13-episode season. It had to happen somehow, but it did happen pretty naturally (and over the span of 6 episodes) so it doesn’t feel that forced. I can accept this.
Since I had to download it this time, I had to find the preview for next week on YouTube, and it looks to be… um… bizarre. A spoof of It’s a Wonderful Life? Reaalllly.
Sunday, December 10, 2006
So basically, NBC has built in spoilers to their own show on their own website. What's that all about?
Saturday, December 09, 2006
What occurred to me partway through was that no one is ever broke in a romantic comedy. Why is that? People who should be broke (low-level newspaper writer, for example) have plenty of money to hop on a plane with a day's notice during the holiday season and fly off to another country. This bothers me. No one ever seems to be realistically middle class in a romantic comedy. If I remember my Bridget Jones correctly, she was broke in the book, but totally fine in the movie. I think in the end this is partly why I love High Fidelity so much, because Rob actually faces money problems and that's half of why he and Laura have problems in the first place. Name me a romantic comedy with a poor protagonist. Really. Go.
If you are one of the five people who continue to tune into the OC every Thursday, then perhaps you will have noticed that there is a new woman in town. I don’t mean Kaitlin Cooper, although she certainly has done her bratty best to beef up the show’s ratings. No, I’m talking about Taylor Townsend (Autumn Reeser),
The past two episodes,
Perhaps most importantly,
I've been meaning to write about it for a while and haven't been, because I can't quite put it into words. It's kind of a quiet, slow show - not a whole lot happens in each episode, but it all builds into a really great overall story. It's actually realistic, in a lot of ways - it's about real families facing real problems. Most of the people aren't rich, and they are just trying to do the best they can. Plus, whoever the writer is does a great job of inserting little subtle things into the show to give it that extra human touch. There have been three fantastic moments in the past two weeks - one was when Coach Taylor lectured his daughter about sex, one when Matt Saracen (love him) sang to his grandma, and the best was probably when Tim Riggins' brother handed him the bag of peas to put on his beat-up face - the same bag of peas that he and Tim had gotten in an argument about buying earlier in the show. Other classic moments include the Members Only jacket moment in the last episode and the entire character of Smash Parker's sister.
Fox's lauded Myspace Fox On Demand video player is supposed to air all the Fox shows online after they've been on TV. I read all these reviews saying how awesome it was. Plus, they aired the first four episodes of this season's OC before it even premiered on TV.
Now, while the show is floundering in the ratings despite not sucking, you see fit to not put watchable episodes on your stupid website? Fox, I hate you. More importantly, I hate Myspace. It is not the future of my television watching.
All of this is just to say that my computer malfunctioned when it was supposed to be recording the OC, and I was like, ok, no problem, I'll watch it on Myspace, only to find that it was impossible. This is totally ridiculous, really. I literally have never missed an episode of the OC, not even when I was in England and had to wait a week to download episodes after they had aired in the US. I will not let it start now.
But the liveblog will be late this week as I attempt to download the episode online.
Kivetz also interviewed 69 students from Columbia University who had returned one week previously from winter break and found that as a group they were split in roughly equal numbers between regret and contentment for having worked or partied. But when Kivetz talked to alumni who graduated 40 years earlier, the picture was much more lopsided: those who hadn’t partied were bitter with regret, while those who had were now thrilled with their choice. “In the long run,” Kivetz says, “we inevitably regret being virtuous and wish we’d been bigger hedonists.”
This behavior, Kivetz theorizes, is due to the nature of guilt. This emotion is “hot” — it burns brightly but briefly. “Guilt is quick to rise,” he notes, “and quick to fall.”
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Monday, December 04, 2006
My only argument is with the latest marketing scheme - "Just one question... Are you on the list?"
Because we've moved on from saving the cheerleader and now you just have to be cool enough to join the Mutant Party.
When the public says, “Don’t take me there,” that might be exactly where it wants to go.
Think about how much of this was Internet-spun, Internet-driven. At least the Britney (you can't show it on TV). The Anna Nicole (there were totally crazy new developments every day). The OJ rumor broke online but then someone said it wasn't happening. And the Michael Richards video could only be seen in its entirety online (refer to Spears, Britney: vagina).
The information glut of the Internet makes it so we feel like we aren't real Americans if we haven't been paying attention to the absurd and horrifying information that proliferates like wildfires on the web. So of course we pay attention. Not only do we like scandals, but we like to be up to date on the news by the minute.
That's your "Duh" soapbox of the day.
I sat in orientation for most of today and learned a minor amount - mostly because my brain hit overload around 9am, when the whole thing started. I learned that I will be purposefully embarrassed at a company event on Friday (this is called company culture; luckily I don't mind), and I learned how to find my e-mail. And that there is food.
Food is good.
Anyway, I overloaded so fast and didn't even realize it until it was all over - the calm after the storm, I suppose you could say. Then I was whisked away to my new desk and new duties, although it turns out I don't quite have any yet. At the moment, I think I am just supposed to relax and keep my head together and pay attention. I already met more people than I can remember names, and this will only continue as my job picks up and the company expands.
I also learned about the blogging policy, which I tend to stick by, mostly by not writing about the job at all. Someday when I have the energy I'll post on here that the opinions expressed herein are not those of my employer, they are mine and mine alone. I mean post somewhere permanent that won't get archived in two days. But for now, that will have to suffice.
I got home around 7:45pm, which was mostly my own choosing and partly a result of the overload which led me to then sit in the relative calm environment of my desk for longer than I needed to, and was promptly productive and then utterly unproductive. Meaning, I emptied two trashcans, set up a few things to do with my work computer (portable, still incomprehensible), and then settled into some hardcore Google Reader catchup. I seriously have about 300 blog entries to read/skim per day, so I did some hardcore skimming. I have whole systems going on here.
I think my job will go well. I think I'm just tech-savvy enough to have an edge in my department, and I am excited to get started and figure things out. There is a lot to take in, though, so at the moment I am kind of content to sit at home and vegetate. I wrote "vegetable," which is perhaps a sign of my wired brain reaching a dangerous point. So, ta ta for now!
R Kelly will hopefully soon be trapped in the closet, closet, closet. I cannot wait for this masterpiece to air. The genius that is the hip-hopera, really, you have no idea until you've seen it for yourself. May there be many more chapters to come... and with the creativity exhibited in the last few, you know there will be.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
That means less posting, in all likelihood, because a) I'll be more busy and b) I don't want to start off my first week at a new job spending all my time blogging during work. Not to say it won't eventually happen, since my friend Renee who used to work there (at the company-which-must-not-be-named) claims that she spent most of her time at work shopping. (And then added, "But, then again, maybe that's why I never became a permanent employee.) But I'd like to think that I'll be busy enough that I won't blog at work, and I'd also like to think that I'd be dedicated and ambitious enough not to blog at work. Here's hoping.
That said, I also recently got a note from another company I applied for telling me they weren't going to hire me. I'm mildly disappointed, although I knew they weren't going to when I didn't hear back from them and I think this one I've taken is better for me anyway. However, their rejection did light a bit of a fire under me as far as writing more and putting effort into this ol' thing. I think I could have a future as an entertainment/culture writer and I'd like to get as much practice in as I can. I know my posts tend to be a little scatterbrained and rambling, which is sort of the way I am, but hopefully with some effort I can be more focused. Doesn't mean I'll give up my epic OC liveblogs (although the show may end soon enough, so it may not matter) or my brief postings about things in the political or religious sphere that piss me off, but... you have to start somewhere, and I think with practice and effort I could have valuable and interesting things to say.
Is this self-centered? Blogs always are, I know. I feel like my periodic promises that this will be something more than just a ramble, something better, are starting to fall on deaf ears. Perhaps it would be better to just do it instead of warning you that it will happen (like the boy who cried wolf). Still, the other asset of blogs is personality - a human touch out in the vast world of the Internet - what's the point of writing yet another ramble on the Internet if you can't even let a bit of yourself shine through?
So here it is. Another vow to get shipshape, combined with an admission that it might take a little while to get in gear thanks to the new job and new schedule. I'll see you around.
Obviously that's not me, but I find it amusing. My family's way of celebrating Christmas is watching Life of Brian and opening gifts and sometimes making pancakes, so there's little fear of a culture clash. Nevertheless, it's funny to think about contradicting holiday traditions. Christmas was such a part of my life growing up that I can't imagine ever being without it. Plus, I am a huge sucker for, you know, sappy Christmas merchandise. I went into Trader Joe's last week and was totally overwhelmed by the number of special holiday cookies and products. I have about 6 Christmas cocktail recipes I want to make, 15 holiday issues of magazines I want to buy and read, and a practically endless list of Christmas cookies I feel compelled to bake. Plus there's the Starbucks overload. The marketing department there has really gone overboard this year - it's not just about red cups anymore, people. It's about Christmas gingerbread (cardboardy), cranberry cake, and a whole spread-the-cheer campaign. Because Christmas isn't just about buying crap you don't need, it's about submitting your holiday traditions to a corporation's website.
I seem to have gotten off-topic, but I really am a sucker for Christmas. I guess that's my point now. (Also some of the holiday traditions are kind of funny.)
The movie's treatment of the entire situation was really fascinating. Helen Mirren's Queen Elizabeth II was this strange mix of (dare I say it) spoiled royal and self-sufficient, powerful woman. She has people opening doors for her and answering phones and catering to her whim, and yet she drives off with her dogs in a Land Rover in the middle of the Scottish countryside, all by herself, rumbling across a river and getting stuck in the mud. She is clearly passionate but so, so, reserved, the way you think of an English queen. The movie in a way was as much a study of the English people, the monarchy, the myth and tradition surrounding the monarchy, as it was of the Queen herself, but when you get to the end you really do understand that the Queen's character really sums it all up for you. Such a well-done movie - not a lot happens, but so much really transpires just below the surface, and it made me curious about Queen Elizabeth II and her history and personality. Not only was it beautiful and sad, but it was also occasionally hilarious, as it shone light on the monarchy the way you don't see. Because it is this antiquated concept - this royal family so removed from their constituents that they basically don't have constituents - such things are left to "the government" as though the royals aren't even part of it at all. But it continues to exist, Buckingham Palace in the middle of this modern city - and I thought the movie did an excellent job of highlighting the irony of that position.
The other funny angle of seeing this movie is that I'm currently stubbornly working my way through a book that touches on some of the same subjects, with perhaps a little more defined humorous take on the matter. It's called Freddy and Fredericka, and the gist of it is that a somewhat old-fashioned Prince of Wales happens to be married to a media-loving modern princess. She can do no wrong no matter what bungles she makes, but he is skewered by the press and the sanity and relevance of the royal family is called into question. When I started reading it, I didn't make the connection to the Charles and Diana story, but the beginning of The Queen sort of shocked me into realizing that, to the royal family, Diana was perhaps not as idolized as she was by the media and the rest of the world, and so they must have been an inspiration for the book I'm reading. (Hey, I never said I was totally informed.) There's even a Camilla Parker Bowles caricature in the character of Phoebe Boylinghotte. Anyway, this has lit a new fire under me to pursue the rest of the book, which is quite random and farcical and strange, but it's kind of like I'm reading an alternate history of the modern British monarchy, so I'm now officially interested.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Seth and Ryan have active evenings. Ryan watches Bollywood because he’s apparently insomniac, but Seth needs to keep him company because he has dreams about Summer marrying Ralph Nader. Apparently Ryan is capable of finding lots of Bollywood movies at his local Hollywood Video. Who knew there were this many unique world movies available in
Seth inserts his first Borat reference of the show with a nice “Nice,” then exits when his dad comes in. Sandy’s sweater matches his water bottle, and he is a surfer stud. Kirsten, bringing up the dating service for the second time this season (it is her livelihood, after all), says she needs a new slogan for “New Match.” I think she needs a new name for the service but who am I. Taylor shows up coincidentally in a hot little black number and primps her way to the poolhouse to deliver some coffee to sexy Ryan without a shirt. Girl has a major jones for the Ryan. This plotline is fabulous and
She says “I have never appreciated how funny Ryan is,” tipping the parents off to her new infatuation. Come on
Julie has slutted it up with a Ryan lookalike, slightly slimmer of course. Caitlin is on to her, and eating breakfast, once again driving home the unbelievable premise in
Meanwhile, Summer and Paul Rudd sneak into a lab with little rabbits in cages, scoping out the scene for a breakout. Summer’s pseudonym is Betty and Paul’s is Lou. Yes, this is a kind of weak plotline. Moving on.
Caitlin hits on her tennis instructor. She is in really good shape – better than Marissa I think because it looks legit like she works out and doesn’t just starve herself. Tennis instructor is hot piece of man meat causing Julie to say “Easy girl,” which is the second use of that line in the episode. Good times. Spencer is NOT a hot name, I’m sorry to say, but that does not affect Julie cause she is ready to go play tennis with the hottie.
Kirsten has a new office that looks just like the old Newport Group office and is decorated with Ikea chic – the mark of any good startup company. Apparnetly they are in a bad spot because some other Laguna dating service is selling out to a company with more money. Yippee,
Summer and Paul Rudd bust into the rabbit lab to break out the rabbits from their cage. Apparently Paul Rudd is going to Pied Piper these little bunnies all the way out. Apparently on campus guerrillas have headlamps. The rabbits are not at all interested in the flute playing a la Dwight Shrute.
Indie reader Ryan is reading Twilight of the Superheroes, having replaced Seth as the nerdy trendsetter.
Another strange indie placement for Indie 103.1 on Taylor’s 6am alarm – a real radio station but I’ve never heard anything on it and I doubt Taylor listens to it (then again I’ve never listened to it at 6am).
Julie and Caitlin do doubles with Spencer the tennis instructor and Julie is hopping her way around while Caitlin sucks it up hardcore to a peppy cover of Modest Mouse “Float On.” I love Caitlin, she really does not let her mom get away with shit and tosses Julie’s racket over the fence. Creepy mother-daughter conflict over the guy.
Seth tells Ryan he was into recycling before it was cool, proving his cred once again and is counting down til the day he can call Summer again, who we haven’t seen in a while. He is pissed with
Summer’s outfit is super cute but her roommate’s is really annoying. Nice big heart earrings, Megan from Felicity (thanks Kelly). Summer learns from the roommate that the rabbits were actually just being observed for social habits or some such and also that the Dean’s Office called to see both her and Paul Rudd. Apparently they were picked out of a Facebook lineup (nice). Paul calls her Caterpillar, which is, um, awful. He really is like a B character from Felicity. Why! Why! Summer has the fat rabbit under her bed which is not at all incriminating.
Caitlin, with her bathing suit about a millimeter above her pubic hair, discovers her mom has stolen her hottie tennis man. Welcome to Marissa’s world, my friend. Julie is kind of a skank.
Next morning, Seth comes in to Ryan’s room to discover only
CAITLIN STOP WEARING SHIT THAT LOOKS LIKE IT CAME FROM LINDSAY LOHANS LAUNDRY! Apparently Julie is actually going to this charity where she’s being delivered like a lamb to the Tan Texan slaughter, and Caitlin invites herself and “someone who can drive,” aka the Hottie Tennis Instructor. Trouble is brewing.
Summer owns up to the bunny stealing, but won’t turn in Paul Rudd. She can’t betray the new her, apparently, which means not betraying “the movement” and didgeridoo jams.
At the endless charity, Julie is patient with the orange Texan while Ryan is bored.
Turns out hottie tennis instructor is actually Orange Texan’s son, so Julie is in a bit of a pickle and so is New Match.
Seth and Sandy have a little man to man where
Caitlin and Julie hash it out over the whole Bullet (apparently that’s Tan Texan’s name)/Hottie Tennis Instructor issue.
Turns out Paul Rudd has no principles and told the board that Summer was the one who did all the sabotage that semester. She might get kicked out of Brown – which would really bring her back to
Caitlin basically pimps out her mom to Tan Texan, who changes his mind about the monetary support for the New Match thing after all, and Julie and Caitlin hit up the hot guy at the ice cream store. Like mother, like daughter.
Seth comes home to call Summer to find
Next week: Ryan daydreams about a sexy, stripteasing, soapy
Friday, December 01, 2006
I guess times change. I like eucalyptus way better, anyway.
(Meant to post this way earlier, but didn't.)
You could really tell that last night was written by the Office UK team. Not that the Office isn't awkward enough on it's own, but I could just picture Ricky Gervais donning a doo-rag a la "Prison Mike." That entire scene was straight outta London, if you catch my drift (and how can you not, when I use the worse pop cultural references in the most obvious ways). When Prison Mike called Ryan the "belllllle of da ballll" I pretty much wanted to die, and Ryan did too. Ryan hasn't had a whole lot of moment this season since the episode that where he goes on a sales call with Dwight, but that was more spotlight than he needed.
My favorite moment of the show, though, has to be the moment where Toby talks Michael down and gets him to open the door. It's the only moment in the show that Michael has not hated Toby and I think it was nicely, subtly done. No one made a big deal about it (the Office never makes a big deal about anything), but Toby was gentle with Michael and I thought it was a brilliant scene - exactly the kind of thing I expect from the bestest show on TV.
I could go on, about Jim's chair-swirl-and-raised-eyebrows-look just after Andy asks Pam out, or about Pam's reaction to Andy asking her out or to his banjo playing which pretty much killed me, or about Jim not letting Karen in on the Pam prank, or about Angela telling Dwight "not to encourage him" during the Prison Mike scene (yeah Dwangela), but I won't. It's just too good. I want to watch it again.
For hundreds of years, great preachers and teachers have used stories from contemporary culture to illustrate biblical themes. Jesus was the master storyteller: communicating profound truth through parables - short, simple, everyday stories that pack a punch.
(Interruption: Pack a punch, get it? I'm glad you can inform pastors what parables are.)
When Rocky Balboa opens on Dec 22, 2006, you too can punctuate your sermons and talks with a powerful punch! Rocky is tailor-made for teaching the biblical themes of courage, integrity, faith, and victory!
Oh, yes. How I have not posted the trailer for Rocky Balboa yet I really can't believe. Sylvester Stallone was so aware of the potential mocking this film would receive, he built the mocking into the film with the storyline of Rocky coming out of retirement to fight a young boxer in his prime. Yes! This is even funnier than Indiana Jones and the Ravages of Time, starring a, um, older Harrison Ford. Anyway, I guess I'm fine with preachers using whatever parables they like, but I'm allowed to laugh.
(Also, in another case of life imitating art, Keisha Castle-Hughes, the 16 year old playing Mary in The Nativity Story, is pregnant. God has not been reached for comment.)
Lohan was shunned at the glittering affair by other celebs who are tired of her bratty antics and bad work ethic. Overhearing her tirade about Biel's assistant, Will Ferrell turned to DiCaprio, Gore and Affleck and said, "Who cares about that freak anymore, anyway?" - setting off laughter.